Skipper Cobb hails 'excellent' Steelbacks despite Lancashire defeat

Skipper Josh Cobb hailed the Steelbacks' 'excellent' performance despite their heartbreaking defeat to Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford on Friday night.

By Jeremy Casey
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 10:41 pm
Tom Taylor and Jimmy Neesham show their disappointment after the narrow defeat at Lancashire Lightning (Picture: Peter Short)
Tom Taylor and Jimmy Neesham show their disappointment after the narrow defeat at Lancashire Lightning (Picture: Peter Short)

Northants were beaten off the final ball of the match as Jimmy Neesham's nerve deserted him at the death.

The New Zealander had bowled brilliantly to take Northants to the brink of victory, but with the home side needing three to win off one ball, he first bowled a wide and then a no-ball for height as Lightning won it by two wickets to maintain their unbeaten start to the competition.

Neesham ended with figures of four for 26, but that will have been scant consolation for the all-rounder, with Cobb admitting he was 'gutted' in the dressing room afterwards.

The Steelbacks players celebrate the last-over dismissal of Tom David (Picture: Peter Short)

It was a tough one to take for a Steelbacks side that overcame the loss of overseas batting star Chris Lynn due to illness.

They made a competitive 153 for six on a used pitch, wth Saif Zaib making his maiden T20 half-century, ending on 57 not out from 41 balls, while Ben Curran hit 37 from 28.

But it wasn't enough as Lightning squeezed home at 155 for eight.

"It’s a tough place to come, given some of the world-class players they’ve got, but we stood up tonight and I thought we were excellent," said skipper Cobb.

The Steelbacks players celebrate a wicket

"It’s obviously very gutting to be on the losing side at the end.

"Jimmy Neesham was excellent towards the end but Tim David (42 off 26 balls) struck the ball unbelievably well on a tough wicket.

"But it was in our favour with one ball left and Jimmy’s gutted in the dressing room that he bowled a wide.

"I thought it was an average wicket and I said 150 would get us in the game.

"We got that because Saif played exceptionally well for his maiden fifty.

"He played a very mature knock and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come."

Another major plus for the Steelbacks was the performance of leg-spinner Alex Russell who was excellent on his first team debut, claiming one for 27 from his four overs.

"Alex Russell has been very impressive for some months now but it’s always a nervous one when you throw someone into a big game in a place like this," said Cobb.

"But the way he stood up was outstanding.

"He did what he’s been doing for the past months and I’m sure he’ll be very pleased with his first run-out."

The Steelbacks, who have dropped to fourth in the North Group table, are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Durham (start 2.30pm).

They are hopeful Lynn will be well enough to play in that one.